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How to Start a Side Hustle

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Side hustles serve as an excellent means of earning money outside of your regular income. People start different side hustles for various reasons, but ultimately, the purpose of a side hustle is to earn a little bit of extra dough.

You may need to cover unexpected expenses, save for travel, pay off debts, or have an outlet to pursue your true passions and potentially launch a new career path.

It’s important to keep in mind that side hustles are not some get rich quick scheme but rather act to earn additional income doing something outside of working hours.

Starting a side hustle is no small feat, especially if you want to reap its rewards. But the rewards are plenty if you are intentional about your goals for your side hustle.

Consider your availability, the level of demand of your side hustle, the necessary resources you need to support your side hustle, and, then, getting started.

What Exactly is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is a side-job that you take on or create for yourself outside of your main job that generates additional income.

A side hustle can be anything that earns you extra income, such as a part-time barista job, selling your art, freelance writing, or being a tutor.

These examples merely scratch the surface, as there are many, many other options for side hustles out there. The choices are endless, and the only qualifier is that it’s not your main job.

Portrait of young male cafe owner

How to Start a Lucrative Side Hustle

As mentioned earlier, a side hustle is by no means a get-rich-quick scheme. However, if you take the preliminary steps, your side hustle or small business certainly has the potential to earn you a small fortune.

1. Consider what you have to offer

Everybody has something to offer, which is why the first step to starting a side hustle is to consider what you offer, which include your skills, interests, and talents will eventually be your bread and butter.

Your skills, interests, and talents are unique. After all, you’re looking to provide something that someone needs or values, which is why they’d seek you, your products and/or services in the first place.

Another major factor to consider is your time. You probably already know that work is time-consuming, which means your availability is a crucial building block to creating a successful side hustle.

That said, your skills correlate to the amount of time you’ll be able to invest in earning money. Consider the amount of time that you have to offer, too.

2. Promote your business

The next preliminary step is to immerse yourself in a community and build a network. Whether you do this online or in-person, immersing yourself in the community, your side hustle aligns with it and is the next step forward in your side hustle’s prosperity.

For example, if it’s tutoring, then on-campus settings and clubs are very important. It’ll ultimately help you network and find external support for your side hustle. Plus, they often get a lot of foot traffic, which makes advertisements a suitable option.

Another example, if you sell a product or service, there is no shortage of ways to promote your new side hustle or small business online. Social media, digital advertising, newsletters: there are endless possibilities, and, more often than note, these options are entirely free to use.

3. Set personal goals

Any success story starts with a solid plan, and every plan worth its salt comes with personal goals that are both achievable and realistic.

Being intentional in your side hustle is important, and planning helps liken the possibilities of said success.

Actively working toward pre-set goals will keep you motivated to make the most out of your side hustle. Setting personal deadlines are a major component to making personal goals a reality.

4. Seek feedback

Getting feedback and opinions on your work is invaluable. While it’ll help you hone your skill or service to perfection, it’ll also help you iron out any kinks and move forward with your side hustle by making the changes you need.

You can find feedback from family and friends, as well as peers, mentors, and even your customers. It never helps to get a different perspective on your work if it’ll help improve it.

Different Types of Side Hustles

Below, you’ll find a list of ideas for side hustles and small businesses, categorized by type of side hustle rather than the actual job.

There is a near-endless list of jobs that you can do for a little extra money, but the way you do them matters much more in this context.

We’ve compiled some of the basic types of side hustles and what types of jobs fall under these categories to help you have a clearer picture of how to start your dream stream of additional revenue.

1. Freelancing

Freelancing is a service offered on a project-by-project basis. Usually, freelancers manage multiple clients and charge per job, rather than committing to one employer or client.

For example, a freelance writer may write for multiple publications, their hours and workload fluctuate depending on the various needs of their clients.

Here are a few types of freelancing side hustles:

  • Blog writing
  • Crafting social media posts
  • Transcription
  • Consulting
  • Web design
  • Marketing
  • Editing

2. Teaching

Teaching, as a side hustle, allows you to offer and charge people for lessons. As far as subject areas go, your options are limitless.

Teaching is an excellent way to earn money, as it allows those seeking to learn new skills a more affordable option.

Here are a few types of teaching side hustles:

  • Teaching English as a second language
  • Teaching any language you speak fluently
  • Tutoring and editing services for school assignments
  • Offering driving lessons
  • Create an online course
  • Teach an instrument

3. Fixing and flipping

Fixing and flipping side hustles are all about improving (and, sometimes, even upselling) things.   Fixing damaged items isn’t something that comes naturally for most people. That said, it’s always in demand. One route could see you fixing damaged items, while the other could see you taking broken things and fixing them. You can also buy broken items, fix them, and sell them at a reasonable markup. If you have good craftsmanship, technological, or artistic abilities, it’s never a bad idea to offer your services in fixing and improving. Here are a few examples of fixing and flipping side hustles:

  • Refurbishing furniture
  • Offering tech repairs
  • Home improvement
  • Painting houses
  • Yard work and gardening

4. Working

Side hustles involving work tend to be some of the more practical options, especially when earning money immediately. This means getting an additional, part-time job on top of your primary one. It’s a surefire way to have a lucrative side hustle as long as you present yourself well for the gig in question. Here are a few examples of working side hustles:

  • Bartending
  • Dog walking
  • Babysitting
  • Barista
  • Cleaning services

5. Creating

Side hustles that involve creating something usually require you to start a small business. Selling a product, service, or content you’ve created is another means of earning additional income. However, this usually requires you to build an audience and invest a little bit of money before getting started. If you’re a creative, this is a great way to earn money and get your name out there. Here are a few examples of creative side hustles:

  • Starting an online store
  • Selling handmade products
  • Starting a Patreon
  • Taking commissions

What to do Once your Side Hustle is Set Up

Once you’ve decided how you’ll go about earning some extra coin, it’s a good idea to maximize your earning potential with some handy finance tools and tips.

Below are some beneficial actions and precautions that you can take to keep expenses low and stay on track.

1. Track income and expenses consistently

You should always track your income, expenses, and budget, whether or not you’re running a side hustle or small business.

However, using a budget tracking app, a designated notebook, or whatever you need to keep track of your finances can help you keep your side hustle’s finances organized.

Tracking your income and expenses can also help you predict the future of your income and expenses while ultimately guiding your business endeavors in the right direction.

2. Lower your work expenses

While some expenses are a given for certain side hustles, you should do your best to keep them at a minimum.

Maintaining a budget or including your expenses in your price is a good way to undercut these costs. After all, the purpose of a side hustle is to earn extra income, not lose it.

3. Consider opening a separate bank account

For the functional purpose and the possibility of earning even more, consider opening a separate high yield account for any income earned through your side hustle.

Many free online bank options do not require a minimum deposit or balance. Most of these banks do not charge any monthly fees either, making them a great place to store money while earning interest on your savings.

In any case, it’s not a bad idea to keep your money in an account that bears interest.

4. Take advantage of free resources 

You’re trying to earn as much extra income as you can by having a side hustle, so take advantage of as many free resources as you can.

For example, it might seem like a good idea to use invoicing software. However, there are plenty of free options available. You can also create your invoice template and use it as needed.

5. Charge taxes

One of the most common concerns when managing a side gig is figuring out what it means for your taxes.

When your side hustle starts to earn you larger sums of money, the amount you’ll pay on tax depends on where you reside. You will have to pay self-employment taxes.

Keep your invoices, receipts, bank statements, and other important documents about your business well organized and prepared.

It is very important to keep track of your side hustle’s finances for personal, legal, and financial reasons.

Our Final Thoughts

Overall, having a side hustle can help you earn some extra cash and maybe even open new career opportunities.

That said, as long as you plan your side gig diligently, stay organized throughout, and don’t let it interfere with any preceding work, it’s an idea worth pursuing.

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